Pick of the Month: Seven things in food to stay livid about in 2017 (Jay Rayner, Guardian)

Good news. Comfort eating dealt brilliantly with the horrors of 2016, though sadly the effect was only temporary. Once I’d eaten all the salted caramel ice cream, the things that drove me nuts about the world were still there. This made me angry. After sticking a fork in my hand repeatedly to see if the feelings would go away, I’ve decided to stay angry. Because this year, being furious is the only way forward. Here then, are seven things in the food world to continue being livid about in 2017.

I’m exasperated by the relentless use of the word “artisan”. What does it mean? Someone who’s skilled? People working in big factories are skilled. Someone who’s not successful enough to have staff to help them? It’s meaningless marketing garbage which tells you nothing about the product. All those food stuffs with the “artisanal” tag aren’t made on grandma’s gnarly kitchen tables and thank God for it, because the result would most likely be food poisoning. They’re made in strip-lit, hygienic, light industrial units on ring roads. All that matters is whether the food is good or not.

People claiming to be gluten intolerant still make me want to hit things. You’re not gluten intolerant. That bloated feeling you have when you eat too much bread is because you’ve eaten too much bread. Stop it. You’re just a picky eater trying to control the world around you through food and, in the process, making life harder for people who are genuinely coeliac.

I’ve had enough of any restaurant or food offering with the word “skinny” in the title. That’s lunch with a side order of judgmentalism.

I am infuriated by anyone who claims they have to import sea water from a thousand miles away to make their pizzas better. I don’t even care if the pizzas are better. It’s stupid.

I’m enraged by ignorant numpties banging on about the evils of refined sugars and the glorious benefits of the unrefined stuff. Learn some basic biology. It doesn’t matter whether you get your sugars in white granules from a paper bag or by collecting the raging tears of the Honey Monster. Sugar is sugar. Whatever the source, it all gets converted to glucose in the body. Are there trace nutrients in the unrefined stuff? Possibly, but if you attempt to get your daily dose of iron from unrefined sugars you’ll have type 2 diabetes quicker than I can say Paula Deen.

The raw milk lobby drives me to distraction. Louis Pasteur was not a health and safety nut. Pasteurisation has saved millions of lives. And don’t claim raw milk is healthier than pasteurised. You only want to consume raw milk as an expression of some anti-modernist, self-satisfied, hipster lifestyle, not because you’re trying to stave off osteoporosis. The people who bang on about raw milk are plenty nourished. As are the goggle-eyed bandwagon jumpers who claim coconut oil greases the path to godliness. As with refined sugars, you’d have to eat so much of it to gain any benefits you’d be the size of a house, thus making you very unhealthy indeed.

Which brings me to all those who point at clumsy, ill-written, pseudo-science as proof that their desperate, self-aggrandising food choices are better than yours; people who don’t know the difference between a causal link, correlation and sheer coincidence. They make me really, really angry. Does getting all this off my chest make me feel better? No. I’m still livid. And I’m damn well staying that way.

Written by Jay Rayner for Guardian
Image credit: Benjamin Van Der Spek (Getty Images)


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